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Top 8 quotes from Obama at the Nelson Mandela Lecture

Former US President Barrack Obama delivered this year’s Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture. The Lecture took place at Wanderers Stadium on 17th July. Transform SA picked 8 of the most powerful quotes from Obama’s speech:

  1. “I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln. I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy, built on the premise that all people are created equal, and they’re endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.”

 

  1. “First, Madiba shows those of us who believe in freedom and democracy we are going to have to fight harder to reduce inequality and promote lasting economic opportunity for all people.”

 

  1. “Globalisation and technology have opened up new opportunities, have driven remarkable economic growth in previously struggling parts of the world, globalization has also upended the agricultural and manufacturing sectors in many countries.”

 

  1. “When it comes to the international system of commerce and trade, it’s legitimate for poorer countries to continue to seek access to wealthier markets. And by the way, wealthier markets, that’s not the big problem that you’re having – that a small African country is sending you tea and flowers. That’s not your biggest economic challenge.”

 

  1. “Embracing our common humanity does not mean that we have to abandon our unique ethnic and national and religious identities.”

 

  1. “Now, we have to acknowledge that there is disorientation that comes from rapid change and modernization, and the fact that the world has shrunk, and we’re going to have to find ways to lessen the fears of those who feel threatened.”

 

  1. “And yes, democracy can be messy, and it can be slow, and it can be frustrating. I know, I promise. But the efficiency that’s offered by an autocrat, that’s a false promise.”

 

  1. “Love comes more naturally to the human heart, let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on earth so that in 100 years from now, future generations will look back and say, “they kept the march going, that’s why we live under new banners of freedom.”

 

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Transform SA in conversation with Nompendulo Mkhatshwa about student movement.

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